Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Qareeb [Shanachie, 1988] A-
  • Atish [Shanachie, 1990] Dud
  • Vivid [Mondo Melodia, 2003] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Qareeb [Shanachie, 1988]
With no aesthetic judgment implied, the reality encompassed by mass-produced soundtrack schlock and sitar masters fills me with disinterest, and although I find ragas inoffensive accompaniment to chana vazi and shag panir, I've never voluntarily played one. So I put this on out of professional responsibility (not even curiosity), and fell. Najma is a British Pakistani who popularizes an ancient Urdu lyric form called the ghazal. The words are traditional, with translations that read like abstract love poetry provided. The melodies and vocal harmonies are hers, with soprano sax or fretless bass or guitarlike santoor adding just a touch of Western exoticism. The overall effect is twofold: gentle culture clash and sheer physical beauty. Either one of which would do. A-

Atish [Shanachie, 1990] Dud

Vivid [Mondo Melodia, 2003] Dud